Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Growing up in the Midwest I had my fair share of experiences with tornado warnings and watches. But as scary as that could be I was comforted by the fact that we had a basement to run to for shelter

I remember one year I was camping with my Girl Scout troop. We were staying in this huge beautiful farmhouse. The bathrooms were a little ways away from the house and as my friends and I were walking to use them we heard the tornado sirens going off. Then the camp ranger drove by to unlock the basement door for us and told us to take shelter

My mom was chaperoning this trip and for that I will forever be grateful. I can still see the water pour down the basement walls and hear the thunder and wind pelt the farmhouse. When it was all over we got out to survery the damage. The damage to our site was minimal but to the town of Sheboygan it was horrendous. People talked about that tornado for years. And this began my fear of storms. Any time a storm would hit regardless the severity I would take shelter in my basement

And now this scaredy cat lives in northern fl where basements are not common.

Monday night the storms were horrible. By my house however it was pretty calm and the kids and I slept through it all. Tuesday night was another story. I had put the kids to bed and was trying to watch tv but since I have direct the tv kept coming in and out due to the rain outside. I was starting to try and get a news station to come in when a friend called and said that a massive storm and possible tornado was heading my way. The news warned of a tornado in pensacola and as I turned up the volume to listen the news station went blank. 

I figured out my laundry room was the safest place for us to be, laid out pillows and blankets, herded Gianna in and bribed her with my iPad to sit still and went to get a sleeping Ethan out of his crib. At this point we still had power and the internet. Friends and neighbors were texting and emailing me since my tv was out. Then my phone started screaming at me to take cover.

The lights flickered, went out, came back on and went our conpletly. Gianna started screaming and Ethan scrambled onto my lap. I sang songs, told bible stories and prayed that we would be ok. A friend sent me a text saying that a tornado had been spotted in Baker off Gillocer road. When she sent me that I almost peed my pants. It was right across the street from me

Suddenly everything got really calm. Then before I knew it noise was all around me. As I sat in my laundry room with two kids and two 80lb dogs cowering and shaking I felt like I was In Dorothy's house in the wizard of oz. I could hear rushing water all around me, so loud it felt like it was closing in and the whipping of the wind was terrible. I thought my windows and the doors were going to busy in. Before I knew it it was over. Friends continued to call and text to make sure we were ok and to update me on the progress of the storm. I snuck out of the laundry room to peek outside in my backyard. The lightning was like nothing I have ever seen. Constant and relentless. So I hurried back into the laundry room where the kids and I spent the night

I woke up the next morning afraid of what I might find. Power was still out and my phone was almost dead. I was starting to get irritated about the fact that all the milk I had just bought was going to spoil and that the girls night I had planned for tonight would be cancelled. Then I swung open my patio door and blinked in disbelief

There was debris everywhere. Gianna's playhouse that was on my patio was flipped over across the yard. A tree was down on my fence and the husbands grill was pushed up to my kitchen window. Out my front yard the cleared lot had washed away and all the trees were on the power line. The road behind my house was washed away. People were reporting 2ft of rain and over 60,000 lightening strikes in our area. Pensacola was flooded and the airforce base was closed. We were now on a state of emergency. Scary stuff right. Here are some of the pics I snapped

I hadn't exoected much damage so when I saw all this I was overwhelmed. I was so thankful that our damage was minimal compared to many others, thankful that the worst was over and above all grateful that the kids and I were kept safe. Praise to God for looking out for us

I didn't even cry until I looked at Gianna's playhouse. The playhouse that M had spent hours putting together right after he came back from his deployment. The playhouse that we were so excited to surprise her with. As the tears came I looked at my fence and wondered why my husband is always deployed when stuff like this happens. As my two friends showed up to help me cut down and clear the tree I started doubting if we would be able to cut it al down. Then all of a sudden 7 guys walked into my backyard carrying chainsaws and got to work. It took me a moment to realize that they were all my neighbors and I sat blinking back tears as they helped me put the grill and playhouse back in the right spot and continued to cut down and clear the tree from my yard and fence. 

God I love my military family. And I am beyond grateful and thankful that the kids and I are safe. 

And please pray for those that were not as lucky. The rain is still going on and the water is continuing to rise

Thank you God for keeping us safe

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